The most recent unemployment rate statistics from the BLS* are startling:
- 1.8% in Boulder, CO
- 2.1% in Denver/ Aurora/ Lakewood, CO
- 2.6% Colorado
- 3.1% Salt Lake City, UT
- 3.3% Utah
- 3.4% Cheyenne, WY
- 3.9% Phoenix/ Mesa/ Scottsdale, AZ
- 4.3% Wyoming
- 4.5% Arizona
Many economists consider these conditions to indicate full/ nearly full employment; in other words, everyone who is looking for work can find a job. The advantage goes to employees and job applicants in this competitive labor market, and some may have a “Who cares about this job, I can work anywhere I want!” attitude.
For some employers, this means extreme challenges in attracting and retaining qualified employees, especially for lower paying and entry level positions.
In the spirit of “Misery loves company”, does this list of hiring miseries drawn from a recent meeting with employers sound familiar?
- Garnishment Hoppers: A new hire starts and when their garnishment papers get process, they disappear before their pay can be docked.
- UI Chasers: New hires quit after a couple months on the job and then file for unemployment insurance.
- Phantoms: You schedule interviews with applicants, and they don’t show. You schedule new hires to work, and they don’t show. New hires quietly disappear after Day 1.
- Challengers: With an “I dare ya to fire me!” attitude, they think you are desperate and overtly take advantage of the situation.
- Limits Testers: These employees brazenly test your tolerance limits; they consistently waltz into work late, take long lunches, leave early, flaunt dress code, etc.
There are no silver bullet solutions to these challenges, but here are some ideas to tackle hiring miseries:
- Revamp your pay and benefits to be more competitive.
- Screen applicants’ work history carefully and ask direct, probing questions about reasons for leaving former employers/ employment gaps.
- Require prior work history/ references and contact each one; some may only confirm employment dates, others may “spill the beans”.
- Offer a Stay Bonus that is earned after staying on board for six/ nine/ 12 months.
- Offer a Referral Bonus in addition to the Stay bonus: if the employee refers a candidate that is hired, and that candidate stays at least 6 months (or 1 year), a bonus will be paid to the employee (as long as both employees remain employed).
- Offer special benefits that kick in after 6 months employment. These could be non-monetary benefits like flexible scheduling, recognition, celebration.
- Conduct background checks and look for issues.
- Create a culture that makes people want to stay, contribute their best and not leave!
Members are welcome to contact us for help with any and all workforce miseries. Best of luck!